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Mythology of Mother

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Different peoples of America have different versions of the origin of mate. But they differ only in details, but in the main agree: it was given to people by heavenly beings or their earthly governors. According to one of the legends, the benefactors were two goddesses descended from heaven. They were frightened by a jaguar, and an Indian passing by drove away the beast. In gratitude, they also revealed to him the secret of a magic drink, quenching thirst and increasing strength. But the Indians of Guarani say that the mystery was discovered by the male god. There is also a story about a decrepit sick old man and his beautiful daughter, who had to vegetate with a weak father away from relatives. A certain shaman was imbued with her plight and taught him how to make medicinal tincture, thanks to which the old man instantly got to his feet, and both were able to return to their native places. And according to the fourth "option", the meeting with the sorcerer cost the girl a life: he was so impressed by her beauty that he decided to turn it into a magnificent plant, the infusion from the leaves of which the Indians began to drink, to take off fatigue, restore health and generally gain happiness.

When Columbus discovered America, hard times arose for mate lovers. In pursuit of wealth, the Spaniards completely destroyed the habitual way of life of the Indians. And Queen Isabella considered it her duty to care not only for the prosperity of the colonies, but also for the salvation of the souls who inhabit them. And the galleons, going to America for jewelry, began to deliver the entire army of monks – Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits. The policy of missionaries was simple: planting Christianity, get rid of everything that is associated with the old traditions and beliefs. The turn came to mat. At the beginning of the 17th century, the prominent Jesuit Diego de Torres in Paraguay publicly declared him "the devil's drink" and demanded that the mate be punished in the same way as for heresy.

However, this order was executed to the exact opposite: the holy fathers themselves became addicted to the drink. Moreover, they initiated the export of it to Europe. Economic advantage won fear. And this is understandable. Far from their homeland, deprived of help from anywhere, missionary settlements had to provide themselves with everything they needed, including glass and paper, the purchase of which required money.It turned out that mate is perfectly suitable for export: production is simple, cheap, and selling exotic "drug" can be exorbitant.

But his popularity in the Old World did not last long: in the XIX century, Latin America turned into a hotbed of permanent war and revolution. Trade actually stopped. Yes, and interest in mate was extinguished: some European countries made a decisive choice in favor of tea, others – in favor of coffee, and next to such fashionable "rivals" could not compete.

Indian tree

The idea that mate – grass, also gave rise to Jesuits. They, not delving into the subtleties of cooking, drank it in ready-made form, and traded only raw materials, which they brought the Indians. The dried mate really looks like a finely chopped herb, although in fact it is the crushed leaves of the evergreen subtropical plant Ilex paraguayensis. By the way, his closest relative Holly Holly grows in Europe and even became there a kind of Christian symbol. It is wreaths from dark green leaves of a holly with bright red berries adorn the houses for Christmas, for example, in England and Germany.Is not this fact in itself removes the accusation of heresy and the Paraguayan "brother". In the wild, this tree lives up to 50 years and can reach a height of 15-20 meters. The bark is white and smooth, as in ash, and the leaves are about 10 centimeters in length and 5 in width. This species is the fourth among the world's caffeinated plants after tea, coffee and cocoa. Mate production in the countries of South America, mainly in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, now reaches 170 million kilograms a year.

But, despite the natural vitality, in other parts of the world the tree has not taken root – it needs a special warm, humid climate and a soil rich in iron. Therefore, it can be confidently asserted that wherever in the world you find mate – it is made from Latin American leaves. Simple and tasteful

At the height of interest in the drink, they tried to "expose" it as expensive and refined. In reality, the most expensive in mate is transportation, and the production technology is very simple, so the cost of this product is much cheaper than tea or coffee.

First, the leaves are cut off from the tree by hand or by means of special machines.In business there are both young, and old branches. The main thing is not to overdo it: if the holly is shaved, he will not be able to recover and quickly die.

The next stage is drying. Previously, the collected green mass was kept in the sun, but on an industrial scale it is unproductive, so now wood or electric dryers are used, where the raw material is shaken from time to time. The latter is very important – the leaves should not remain wet. If at least one remains undersucked, after a while it will be necessary to throw out the entire bag – the mat will rot or become moldy. At the final stage, the dried material is ground and packed. Here, in fact, and all – no difficulties.

But such simplicity is more than offset by the bizarre rituals that accompany the brewing and use of mate.

In restaurant menus it is often placed in one section with tea, however both substances have virtually nothing in common except water. To begin with, the dishes that Europeans use to drink drinks – teapots, decanters, cups, glasses – are not good for mate. Best for him is a special bottle of pumpkin (type Lagenaria vulgaris) – the so-called calabash, or ponggo.It must again be dry, but with porous walls, which, when filled with hot water, will swell slightly and give a slightly earthy shade to the aroma of the drink. A new calabash can not be used immediately. First it must be prepared: to clog mate almost under the neck, pour hot water and leave for a couple of days. Then cleanse, again to score "under the string" with hot water and this time with a small amount of strong alcohol (ideal is the traditional for Latin America alcohol from cane sugar, but you can use vodka). After a few hours and this mixture is thrown away, the calabash is washed and dried – and now it is completely ready for "adult life". Do not regret welding

This phrase goes to mate more than to tea. You should fill the kalebas with dry raw materials at least half. Then the neck is tightly closed with a hand, the pumpkin is turned over and vigorously shaken several times. So small brewing "powder" is closer to the top, and large particles, on the contrary, at the bottom. Then the vessel is carefully returned to the normal position. It remains to insert a bomb into it – an object that looks like a spoon, but in practice – a "cross" of a straw with a sieve.Make bombs are usually made of metal. In the upper part there is a slightly flattened mouthpiece, and at the bottom there is a detachable part with holes: it is assumed that only the filtered liquid will pass through this filter.

Among lovers of mate there are endless discussions about how to insert a bomb: into dry brewing or mate it is necessary to slightly moisten with warm water and wait for two or three minutes until it absorbs. However, in both cases the main thing is to stick the tool as deep as possible. It is for this and shake the calabash: after all, now on the bottom there are only large particles that will not pass through the filter.

Less "mandatory", in contrast to the calabash and the bomb, a special teapot with hot water, similar to a bird with a huge curved beak. It is called pava (in translation from Spanish – "turkey"). True, nothing terrible will happen if you warm the liquid in an ordinary teapot. On such a deviation from the rules look condescending.

Finally, everything is ready for brewing. But even at this stage, mate is radically different from tea: in no case can it be poured into boiling water, but only water, warmed to 70-80 degrees.How to determine the correct temperature? If there is no thermometer, then, after boiling water, it is left to cool for 15-20 minutes. And the most "canonical" method is to splash a little hot liquid on the floor and to understand by sound whether it has cooled down enough. Of course, parquet, linoleum and laminate for this do not fit – the floor should be stone. The temperature question is principled, there can not be any compromises: too cold mate threatens with a stomach disorder, too hot – it is very bitter and causes nausea.

So, brewing the mixture by all the rules, immediately start sucking through the bomb, periodically pouring hot water into the calabash. If everything turned out as it should, the drink will not be bitter, but rather seem a little sweet.

Hurry nowhere to go

Mate does not drink for five minutes. Czechoslovak travelers Jiri Hanselka and Miroslav Zikmund write in their book "There, beyond the river Argentina": "If a resident of Argentina or Paraguay needs to go to work at 6 am, he gets up at 4 to have at least an hour and a half to drink mate. a solemn ceremony allows anything but a hurry. "

And although Julio Cortázar called him a drink "for those who are lonely and sad," he also drinks well in the company.At large receptions with the participation of unfamiliar people each is served a separate small pumpkin with a bomb. And in the family and close friends it's common to brew a common calabash. Someone takes on the functions of the mate – sevador solder, he also takes the first one and, if satisfied with quality, passes the pumpkin in a circle. Sevastor should pour water into the calebas on time. He decides when it's time to change the tea leaves.

Often, foreigners tend to suck through a common bomb and feel unhygienic, and they strive to come to visit with their pipe. But for the Argentines, Uruguayans and Paraguayans, this custom, like no other symbolizes friendship, warmth and trust. So the individual "initiative" can be perceived by the owner as an insult.

In addition, it is good to know some of the nuances: the pava can not be taken with the left hand; the guest of the calebas is served a bomb in his direction; You can not stir a bomb, let alone stir it with tea leaves; and even to thank the owner should be only at the end of the ceremony, and not every time you give a calabash (thanking you for the addition can not count).

Previously, in the XIX century, such unwritten rules were even greater,so that young men and women from conservative Catholic families even sent coded love messages with the help of a mate to each other (something like the Victorian language of flowers). Very sweet mate meant "it's time to talk to my parents", with cinnamon – "my thoughts are occupied by you", with a bomb, turned in the other direction – "I despise you" …

Variations on the theme

But there are no rules without exceptions. And the harder they are, the more roundabout maneuvers are. The fighters for the purity of rituals try not to notice how these rituals are continually being violated. In recent years, throughout Latin America, sales of mate in bags grown from ordinary cups, as well as disposable calabash and plastic bombs, have been growing. The opposite trend is the production of collectible calibers from porcelain, ivory, precious metals and even painted wooden ones.

And still many now prefer this drink with additives: so it turns out less bitter and more nutritious. The most common additives are lemon, sugar, honey. Less likely to drink with molasses, candied orange peels, milk or cream, burnt with sugar, beaten egg.In Paraguay, sometimes added herbs prescribed by the healer-herbalist (such you will find in each village) for the treatment or prevention of diseases.

Another option for hot weather – cold mate, filled with ice water with fruit juice (turns the so-called terere).

Finally, we note that far beyond Latin America there are still two countries where mate successfully succumbed and drunk every day. This is Syria (the largest importer of holly leaves in the world) and Lebanon. There, the drink spread in the 19th century thanks to immigrants from across the Atlantic. Today, the Druze culture is supported by the Druze, an ethnic group that professes a special branch of Islam. Their leader Walid Jumblatt often appears in public, sucking a bomb. To drink or not to drink?

On this question regarding the mothers of doctors unambiguous answer is not given. On the one hand, it is well known that it contains many useful substances – vitamins A, B, C, E, as well as alkaloids and trace elements (in particular, so necessary for mental activity, phosphorus). It's not for nothing that the Argentine shepherd-gaucho for months feed on one beef, washing down her mate, and feel great without experiencing any lack of nutrients.However, the drink has a lot of caffeine, which excites the nervous system and increases the pressure (producers sometimes cunning and call caffeine contained in the mate, matein, but the essence of this does not change).

More importantly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has brought hot mate to the so-called blacklist, which includes substances that could potentially be carcinogenic. In this sense, the Latin American decoction is equated with creosote and insecticides. The cause was the research conducted in Montevideo. According to them, there may be a connection between the use of hot mate and esophageal cancer. True, it is emphasized that it is only a very hot drink, which you do not need to drink, because if it is brewed with boiling water, it turns out bitterly and tastelessly.

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Cities and resorts

The discovery of the homeland in the rhythm of tango

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Argentina, since the middle of the last century receiving emigrants from many European countries, and today is pleased with foreigners. Unlike non-poor states, like the United States or Canada, once built by the same immigrants from Europe, but just do not invite people to their homes.

The fact that Argentina is ready to give shelter and a decent life to everyone who wants to, "i" was written more than once. We also reported on the formalities that must be followed by a potential Argentinean to obtain an immigrant visa (see "i" b 6 (165) of 19 February 1997, pp. 14 and b 48 (157) of 10 December 1996, p. 15). Now – about what it is worth to go there for.

About Scots, Swiss and other worthy

Argentina, although located on the other side of the equator, does not become worse from this. It is by no means a wild exotic country, lost in the wilderness of the Latin American continent, peculiar, but certainly not provincial, which seems to most of us, ignorant philistines. I do not want to say that the birthplace of gaucho and tango embodies the romantic dreams of paradise on earth. No, of course: just Argentina is one of those few places where people are able to exist in harmony with each other and nature, work for a decent reward,not turning labor into an end in itself, and enjoy every moment that promises pleasure. What, in general, is the most worthy life.

It's hard to believe, but at the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina was considered almost the richest country in the world, leaving North America far behind with Northern Europe and the gross national product, and the giant export – meat, grain, wool. The proverb even was this: "Rich, like an Argentine."

Hence, thousands of Europeans who tried to find prosperity in the picturesque foothills of the Andes – the southern Italians, the Basques, the Galicians and Catalans, the pedantic Germans and the Austrians with the Swiss, the Irish with the Scots, the Russians with the Jews, moved with the Pyrenees.

The density of the native Indian population was already very low, but there were no Africans in the country. Thus, an absolutely white country, Catholic in spirit, Spanish in the mode of expressing thoughts and more or less European in style of life appeared incredible in the conditions of South America. A familiar Argentine student, a bright brunette, claims that she is the only surviving black-haired resident of Buenos Aires. All the rest, they say, are natural blondes.

Then, a century ago, each newcomer chose a lukewarm place, according to his own ideas about the right life. Frost-resistant Scots, for example, soon figured out the last surviving Indians, climbed into the delightful Patagonia, with the net glaciers and marvelous lakes, closer to the 37th parallel, sung by Jules Verne in Captain Grant's Children. And they began with the mountain obstinacy and obvious success to plant sheep and build roads.

Relatively few descendants of conquistadors (no more than 10-15% of the country's population) have dissolved into settlers of modern times. Galician accent is still heard everywhere. Along with Catalan, Italian and German.

Russians and Jews, scattered in an insignificant amount throughout the country, largely settled in the capital. In which, as in any self-respecting capital, there are representatives of various nationalities, including those rare for Latin America. For example, Syrians. The current president, Carlos Menem, among other things, is from the Syrians. A Muslim by birth, even if baptized in adulthood, he, nevertheless,was elected head of state – an excellent illustration of the new Argentine constitution, democratic and tolerant, allowing even the president not to be a hereditary Catholic.

As in any decent country, Argentina has its own Switzerland. Different from Switzerland near Moscow (Zvenigorod) or, say, oriental (in Lebanon) by the fact that they live there, all surprisingly, the indigenous Swiss. In the XIX century, the Helvetic Confederation was, apparently, so hungry and troubled that the poor people reached out to the distant continent in search of a better life. And found it in the Andes, among the mountain scenery, clear lakes and relict pines, where today stands the city of San Carlos di Bariloche, at two o'clock in the summer from Buenos Aires. Accustomed to exhausting work and not indulged in a good climate, they were fishing, skiing and, following national inclinations, slowly developed tourism. Already.

Resort for curious Brazilians

The area of ​​Bariloche was finally mastered at the beginning of the 20th century. There and today – solid Swiss, in the third or fourth generation. Architecture – chalets. Favorite product – chocolate.

Chocolate, unlike wool or grain, is not exported, but is eaten in nemerenyh quantities on the spot. In Bariloche there are at least a dozen huge chocolate shops, on which Argentinean Swiss people hang around, and in front of the entrance there is a master chocolate-maker of the same origin who immediately cooks a sweet product. One of the famous varieties, existing the last hundred years, is called "Mamushka" (with emphasis on the second syllable), is a living witness of the friendship of peoples.

The present Bariloche is an amazing ski resort of a world-class level, where the Europeans and Americans go with pleasure (they are hot at the time and the skis are not the season) and the Brazilian neighbors – to look at the snow (snowflakes are stacked, not realizing that they melt). The climate is very similar to ours, but housing is cheaper. This circumstance was used by Sylvester Stallone, who immediately purchased a villa in this heavenly corner.

Nothing prevents you to follow his example and build – no, not a villa, but a modest house, this way for 100-120 square meters. A thousand for $ 40, including a piece of wonderful forest of hectares at 10-15.

Hospitality that does not interfere with patriotism

In Argentina, they like foreigners in general and Russians in particular.They show their benevolence as they can, from the very first days, not allowing emigrants to feel that they are strangers. Despite the notorious talkativeness, the Argentines are even ready to listen to a stranger. When it comes to that.

Russian for Argentinean – first of all an educated European, and therefore, the bearer of culture – how tall, so ancient. And the culture is respected there. It's funny, but for many Argentines, the people of Russia are still an alternative to the Yankees. If we bear in mind the traditional dislike of all Hispanics to gringos, it becomes clear that we are for them a historical counterweight to North America.

Their love for Europe and dislike for the US affects everything – on education, travel, way of thinking. Their Argentina is part of Europe, abandoned by the will of fate to another continent. Denominations are many, discrimination is not, disorganization and sociability are akin to Russian.

Argentines do not like to travel abroad, preferring to travel around their country, enough for this diverse and interesting. If they go on holiday abroad, they choose Paris, London or Brussels, traveling around, more precisely, flying around the unloved, albeit close northern neighbors.

The same with children.Young heirs are not sent to study in the US, even English. If the European university does not have enough money, they try to send a child to England, France, Germany for at least a couple of months. But even the lucky ones who happened to graduate from Oxford, most often in the Old World do not settle: patriots.

Unlike Moscow, which, as you know, is not Russia, Buenos Aires for any Argentine is the center of both the country and the universe. A place where they return from distant wanderings, because it is better than him – no.

"How delightful is Buenos Aires in the evening light, the lights of Kavanagh and Komega." Or so: "The street of Juan Bautista Alberti, read novels in growling buses, raw annoying weather." The charming names – Coimbra, Monte Redondo, Martingans, Pampillos, sung by Cortázar and Borges.

The enveloping accordion accords of the tango of Astor Piazzolla, not tarnished by age, are already included in the repertoire of classical musicians. The thunder of the football stadium, the fans, convinced that Argentine football is the most correct football in the world. The historical match for the chess crown of the 1927 sample between Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Capablanca, which brought Alekhine the title of world champion.

To the credit of Buenos Aires, his present worthy of a grandiose past.Even today it remains one of the most tusovka and cultural centers of the world. Teatro Colon (Theater of Columbus), in which, in addition to Latin American musicians, world stars are pleased to perform: Rostropovich, Kisin and Pavaroti are far from complete list of the last year. By the way, in the same theater once, for the first time, tango was performed publicly, then only just appeared.

Everything is concentrated in the capital. The population of Buenos Aires and its suburbs is one-third of the country's population. When the city is asleep, it is unclear. Discos opening at midnight, reach the peak of attendance by the middle of the night. Capital Portenio (Buenos Aires dandy), as well as the good-natured fathers of families with household members (including babies), having dinner at two or three in the morning in a restaurant, is a standard picture.

Different national communities prefer to group in certain areas, without doing so from their national or confessional identity of the cult. One of the streets, which is a continuous chain of cute jewelry shops, almost entirely belongs to the Armenians. The Jewish community, the fourth largest in size after Israel, the United States and Russia, has as many as 400,000 people.

Siesta in Buenos Aires is not: not hot. Therefore, the metropolitan residents are not as relaxed as most South Americans. The influence of the continent has an easy impact on time: late for a half-hour-hour meeting is not considered late at all. One of my favorite expressions: "There is no need to worry today – tomorrow will always come."

Not too, but still business

Neglect of time does not affect business activity. For example, in construction – Argentina is experiencing a construction boom today. Shops, offices, motorways are being built. Reconstructed the famous metropolitan area of ​​port taverns La Boca – the small homeland of tango.

An enterprising person who aspires to develop his own business will not lose by concentrating his forces on servicing. With Argentines, it's easy to compete, because they do not like to recycle. With $ 20,000 and connecting fate with small business, you can confidently look to the future: a small sports hall, a hairdresser, a massage parlor, a workshop, a cafe will provide it.

One of the most profitable types of business is tourist. Travel agencies in Argentina are clearly not enough, although the sights there are not less than the neighbors.Everyone knows Brazil, they go there for a carnival and see the Iguazu Falls. And these waterfalls – just on the border of Argentina with Brazil. Western Europeans visit the pampas of Patagonia and swim on cruise liners in the south – Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego, penguins. And our compatriots do not. They do not seem to know anything about these beauties, and go to Argentina for fur coats.

Prospects are bright, but real

In the country, everything seemed to be specially designed not to stop a person from doing business. Moderate taxes. Unlike the rest of South America, except perhaps Chile, in Argentina there is no brutal crime, economic racketeering and drug mafia.

With all the recent turbulent political life, with changing military regimes and the lost Falklands war of 82, Argentina today is the true bulwark of democracy. In terms of living standards, it does not reach the States or Scandinavia, remaining at the level of Southern Europe, but it is consistently among the first thirty countries in the world. And the Argentine peso since 1992 maintains equality with the American dollar.

Argentine salaries may not be the largest in the world (the skilled worker has $ 1.000-1.500 per month, the engineer has $$ 1.500-2.500), but ours, especially in the provinces, are not comparable. And the salary, which is nice, is paid, and on time.

Schools, like universities and hospitals, are free (federal) and paid (private). In Argentina, there is any industry. There is no only atomic. And thank God. And there is excellent beer and wine, no worse than the Chilean we know.

Yes, here's another: the familiar Argentines urged me that steaks and cows are the biggest and tasty. Naturally, in the world. You can take it for a word, but it's better to check it out.

The material was prepared with the assistance of the immigration office "VISA-SERVICE Agency".

To note potential immigrants

The minimum period for processing an Argentine immigrant visa is 1 month

Costs for registration (including attorney's fees) – $$ 2,500-3,000 (depending on the composition of the family)

The language of the country is Spanish (no language knowledge required to obtain an immigrant visa)

Acquired immigration status: temporary residence permit – 1 year, extension for another year, permanent residence permit – after 2 years, citizenship – after 3 years

The need for permanent residence in Argentina for citizenship is not required

After the registration of the Argentinean passport of an alien or after obtaining the citizenship, visa-free entry to the USA is allowed,most countries in Western Europe (with the right to work for hire) and Latin America

Average Argentine wage level: skilled worker – $$ 1.000-1.500, engineer $$ 1.500-2.500

The living wage of the Argentine family (3 people) $ 750

The minimum capital for starting a "family business" in Argentina is $$ 10.000-20.000

Average prices for real estate in Argentina: a three-room apartment in Buenos Aires (80-100 square meters) in areas of middle class – $$ 35.000-50.000; house in the suburbs of Buenos Aires (an area of ​​100 square meters) with a plot of 10 acres – $$ 30.000-40.000. Prices in the province are 30-50% lower.

Education: free, primary (7 classes) – compulsory

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Cities and resorts

Streets of Borges

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It is logically correct to start a march through the streets of Borkes' Buenos Aires from the place where the writer was born – on Tucuman Street, between the streets of Suipacha and Esmeralda. It's in the center of the city, but now there's nothing: so, stand up, prigoryunivshis.

"More clearly," writes Borges, "I remember the house in Palermo on Serrano Street, which was one of the few two-story houses on our street." The rest were one-story, and there were vacant lots around the house, before the house a palm mentioned more than once in verse. " Now, Serrano is called the Jorge Luis Borges chicken, and the Palermo area has become very respectable, with fine Italian restaurants that will compete with the Bologna and Milanese restaurants in Buenos Aires.

In recent years, the writer lived on Maypu Street, near San Martin Square. There is also a commemorative plaque. Such boards in the city appeared only to the centenary of the birth of Borges, in 1999 – until 13 years after his death, the country seemed to be thinking about whether to pay homage to one's countryman, one of the greatest writers of the century.

Across from the house is the Libreria de la Ciudad bookstore: it is still there, and there is also the table behind which Borges sat. Already blinded, he often worked there – dictated.It was convenient: do not disturb phone calls, like at home. In the store, he usually sat by the window, so the passers-by shouted: "Hello, Borges, my name is Edoardo." Always breaking away from work, he politely replied: "Hello, Edoardo, I'm Borges" and entered into a conversation. Refined intellectual with refined manners, he as a true aristocrat was democratic. I talked with everyone softly, patiently and even intimately – whether it's a waiter or a taxi driver, picking up words and expressions from them as readily as Oscar Wilde. He was constantly stopped on the street, shook hands. He fooled his friends, saying that he hired these people: "Look closely, these are the same faces, they just circle the block and come back again."

The world glory of Borges is based on philosophical stories-essays. This is understandable: ideas are easier to translate than images. As for Russia, Borges' translations appeared on time: in 1984, when the virtuoso philosophies of the writer, who comprehensively composed about the labyrinths of the nonexistent Babylonian libraries, seemed to legitimize the sterile Russian dissertations, indirectly justified the beautiful and idle kitchen cooking.

Somehow in the side are his stories about the elements of the pampas and gauchos, his city stories. But they are different, perhaps the most authentic Borges. That's why you need to walk through the streets of Jorge Luis Borges.

He perfectly knew English, German, French. But he was proud of being fluent in Buenos Aires dialect lunfardo. On it and spoke, walking along his beloved street Florida. Now it has become very commercial, that Borges might not have liked, although in his taste: noisy and pedestrian. He was blind, he did not like the streets with transport.

He owns the amazing expression "the gift of blindness." Borges said that after being blind, he feels time differently: it does not fill up with anything, every nonsense, every second.

I did not consider the optional communication nonsense, claiming that after writing the best thing is to walk and chat with friends. He sat up late for chatter in the cafe: from those that exist now, the most pleasant and tasty place is the café "Tortoni" on Avenida de Mayo. It has been in this place for more than a hundred years, and recently it has always been possible to meet with Borges: his wax figure is forever seated at a table.

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In Buenos Aires, a cheap taxi

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A report has just been published in Argentina with the results of a study carried out by the staff of the National Secretariat for Tourism. As it appears from it, tourists visiting the Argentine capital say about this city on the La Plata river as very attractive, but also very expensive. But the first still outweighs the choice of the location of the holiday. Last year, 20 percent more travelers arrived in the city than they did two years ago.

In total, 2.9 million people visited Buenos Aires last year. Approximately half of them are Argentines, who arrived from other parts of the country, and the rest are foreigners. According to the results of the study, almost 80 percent of all guests of the "Queen of La Plata", as they call Buenos Aires, are subsequently advised to go there to their friends.

The least popular among tourists is the high level of prices for almost all types of goods and services. According to foreigners, cheap in Buenos Aires only a taxi, and 71.3 percent of foreigners said that in the Argentine capital everything is expensive compared to the prices in their homeland. Only 6.1 percent (mostly Parisians, Londoners and Romans) put their cities at a higher cost than Buenos Aires.

As the most interesting places and phenomena of the capital, tourists celebrate Recoleto, Palermo, where you can relax in nature and admire the monuments of antiquity, one of the oldest districts – La Boca and the historic zone of the capital of San Telmo. Recently, Puerto Madero has become a popular – a complex of old docks restored in the port of Buenos Aires, which have turned into the most prestigious offices, clubs, cafes and restaurants in the city.

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